Originally Published: Mar 5, 2010 12:38 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Chattanooga Lady Warriors held off a late run by Calumet to win 60-50 and earn the girls’ first trip to the state finals in school history.
Chattanooga held a double-digit lead for most of the game and was up by 14 entering the fourth quarter, but Calumet started using a defensive press and forced several turnovers to help spark an 8-0 run.
The Lady Chieftains cut the lead to four with less than four minutes remaining, when Chattanooga head coach Marty McBride called a timeout.
“I just asked them, ‘How bad do you want it?’ And obviously they wanted it as bad as anyone,” McBride said. “We were getting pretty tired and they battled us the whole game, and I just wanted to get one more push out of them.”
After the timeout, the Warriors made a conscious effort to hold on to the ball as long as possible and run out the clock. They eventually ran so much time off that Calumet had to start fouling. Chattanooga made the ensuing free throws to clinch the victory.
McBride added that the win over Calumet was extra sweet. Chattanooga was ranked No. 1 through most of the regular season, but after the Warriors lost to two other top-ranked teams – Class B’s Cyril and Class 4A’s Cache – Calumet took over Class B’s top ranking.
“I’d like to say we don’t pay attention to polls, but I’m not going to lie; that was posted up in our locker room,” McBride said. “The girls want to be the best and they work hard to be the best.”
The Warriors will now move on to the finals and face Okarche, which defeated Seiling 47-40 in overtime Friday. Chattanooga’s boys have twice been state runners-up, but the girls have never made it to the finals. Chattanooga has already beaten Okarche 53-41 this season.